Code changes could affect homeowners with septic systems

By Beau Ebenezer

March 14, 2013 Updated Mar 14, 2013 at 10:46 PM CDT

PEORIA COUNTY, Ill. -- Changes to the Peoria County on-site waste-water treatment code, cleared another hurdle tonight.

Those changes could affect the wallets of homeowners with septic systems. The new septic code will include fees, inspection, mandatory owner education and record keeping requirements.

Health Department officials said the updated code was necessary to manage the risk of disease transmission created by improper treatment of domestic sewage.

However, homeowners said the new proposals go too far and too fast.

Dozens of Peoria builders and residents attended the county board meeting, uncertain how the changes may affect them financially.

"If a septic tank does go bad, does it have to be rebuilt totally up to code? Some of these homes, they're 80 to 100 years old and haven't had any problems. So if it ain't broke, don't fix it," said Limestone resident James Bartell.

"I don't think they necessarily need to be worried about it. I think there will be some increased cost and some increased oversight," said Terry Ruhland of the Home Builders Association.

An on-site waste-water treatment group will be formed over the next 60 days to address some of the issues discussed at the meeting and to help finalize the new code.

The Peoria county board will then vote on whether to officially approve it.

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